Friday, January 16, 2009
Matt Yglesias defends his manhood! His site wasn't hijacked by Jennifer Palmieri! Rather, he assumed her proposed blog post
"represented her putting her foot d own, so I kind of didn't say anything more about it, and just stuck if up there ...."
Hmm. Does that make it any better? ...
The point is that until recently Yglesias had a nice perch at
, where nobody was going to put their foot down simply because he offended a Democratic interest group. But he opted for the joys of
"community," so now when a ranking politico like Palmieri puts her foot down, he rolls over. ...
Card Check Slow Track Watch: Labor strategists deny (to Mark Ambinder) that Obama's remarks to WaPo constitute a slow-tracking of "card check." And I know that some business groups still think there's no slow-tracking of "card check" (if it's not in fact already a done deal). So let's assume there's no slow-tracking of card check! ... But it sure sounds to me like the only bill Obama expects to pass soon would be a compromise (for example, retaining the secret ballot but speeding up various time limits or altering other provisions in ways that would still aid unionization drives). ... If you were Obama and you wanted to slow-track "card check," or force a "reform" compromise that feel short of eliminating the secret ballot, you would tell the Post what Obama told the Post, no? If you were a labor strategist and you were worried that Obama was slow-tracking card check, you wouldn't tell that to Ambinder. You'd tell him that there was "every reason to believe" that Obama would keep his "committment," in order to keep the heat on. ... Update: Anti-card checker Peter Kirsanow is still worried . "Unions understand that the planets won't align for them like this again. ... They won't back down." True. But that's also a reason to discount the bravado they show to Ambinder. They're not going to give up this early and say, "Gee, looks like 'card check's' not going to happen.' ... Not that they might not ultimately win. [ via Shopfloor ] ... See also Rubin . ...
P.S.: Obama's framework is admirably clear. (It's not mine !)
"[I]f the business community's argument against the Employee Free Choice Act is simply that it will make it easier for people to join unions and we think that is damaging to the economy then they probably won't get too far with me."
Of course, the issue isn't only whether it will get far with Obama, important as that is. It's also how far it gets with 41 senators. ...
P.P.S.: Obama says
Here's my basic principle: that wages and incomes have flatlined over the last decade. That part of that has to do with forces that are beyond everybody's control: globalization, technology and so forth. Part of it has to do with workers have very little leverage and that larger and larger shares of our productivity go to the top and not to the middle or the bottom. I think unions serve an important role in that.
The obvious initial question is whether, in a more fully unionized economy, the net productivity gains would be there to be "leveraged" down. Not a lot of gains being leveraged to UAW members these days. ... 2:59 P.M.
"You Call This a Downturn?" Well, it depends if that ugly red line keeps going in the direction it's going , no? ... P.S.: Keep in mind, the line measures how much employment has fallen versus all other recessions after x number of months. So the current recession started mild, but is now somewhere between "medium" and "harsh." Trending "harsh." ... 11:45 A.M.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
' We Had a Hat ': UAW workers rally against wage concessions to GM in Michigan. ... Old Rules: You demanded higher wages and held rallies against your employer. ... New Rules : You demand higher wages, help drive your employer into bankruptcy, and then you hold rallies against the government that bailed you out. ... P.S.: Shouldn't the mayor of Warren, Michigan be more worried about preventing GM from disappearing, taking all its jobs, than preventing a 10% or 20% pay cut? ... P.P.S.: I just took a 10% pay cut! Do you see me protesting? No! But I'm going to milk it for all its worth. ... P.P.P.S.: I see a parallel to the counterproductive Gran Marcha : A few more rallies like this and GM won't see another dime from Congress. ... [ via Brian Faughnan ] 10:19 P.M.
"I know as much or more than Cheney." Mr. Biden said. "I’m the most experienced vice president since anybody." Wow . a) Biden has no private sector experience after age 30, right? b) How insecure is this guy? Getting close to dangerously insecure, no? ... And here we we'd just succeeded in explaining away the "I have a much higher IQ than you do" aria of credentialist braggadocio. ... 9:45 P.M.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Inaugural Schmoozalism : kf discovers that the mood in Washington among veteran Beltway Dems is a lot more skeptical of Tim Geithner's innocence regarding his tax errors than public reaction by offical Dems (or some GOPs ) would lead you to expect. Maguire would feel right at home. ... 9:32 P.M.